The excremental philosophy

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 19.43.35A supposedly sophisticated surrender to vice

Everything is permissible, writes Dalrymple, meaning

tolerance has transmuted itself to indifference: and indifference is the harbinger of radical egotism.

Whim being the measure of all things,

men are reduced to the same elemental level: they have no individuality or character, whatever their station. The loss of social constraints, roles and obligations, far from freeing the human personality so that it may flourish, flattens and then destroys it.

Because there is no socially accepted conception of how things ought to be,

there is no contrast between how they are and how they ought to be, hence no humour: the great consolation of imperfection.

All flesh

is shit. Our noses are repeatedly rubbed in excremental reality.

A civilisation in decay that justifies its squalor

Vice — drug-taking, public exhibitions of sadism, male prostitution — is,

as it has always been, with us: a reflection that leads not to a call for a struggle against what lies buried or potential in each of us but to a supposedly sophisticated surrender to it.

The modern fear is that,

by believing in common decency, for example, one is revealing oneself as ignorant and naïve, and probably a hypocrite.

Squalor, says Dalrymple,

disgusts me, but not as much as the excremental philosophy that squalor is all that truly exists, that it was ever thus, and thus it will ever be. Only a civilisation in decay can justify its squalor in this fashion.

The excremental philosophy is, he points out,

chosen, not imposed upon us by the nature of existence. Our problem is that so many have chosen it.

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